On October 27, the Chamber of Deputies unanimously approved the Oncopediatrics bill. The initiative seeks to enshrine 100% coverage of prevention, promotion, diagnosis, therapeutic practices and all technologies related to oncological diagnosis for children and adolescents with cancer. Now the bill will be sent to the Senate to continue with its legislative process.
It also recognizes the right of children and adolescents suffering from cancer to receive the best care available -prioritizing outpatient treatment-; to receive information about their disease and treatment; to refuse experimental drugs and treatments; to receive pain treatment and palliative care, among other points.
During the treatment on the floor, the legislators incorporated modifications in the wording of the bill. Among the changes, the following stand out:
- Special leaves of absence for one of the guardians of the children covered by this proposal will be unpaid. Until now, it was not made explicit whether the leave of absence meant that the worker would continue to receive his/her salary or not. However, it was established that the National Social Security Administration (ANSES in Spanish) will give such worker an allowance equivalent to his/her salary.
- The credential proposed in Article 7 to certify that the oncology patient is a beneficiary of the program will be for patients undergoing treatment. The wording under discussion only referred to oncology patients without specifying whether or not they were under treatment.